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“I have news for everybody, no, there is never going to be one agreement that solves climate [change]” says Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Greg Dalton and Figueres discusses the challenges facing international climate change negotiations. But there is hope, she says, “we are moving towards a tipping point, a technological and economical tipping point...that will allow us to move into a completely different future.”
Ms. Figueres was appointed Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 2010, and in 2013 was reappointed for a second three year term. With a long and distinguished career in climate change negotiations, Christiana was a member of the Costa Rican climate change negotiating team 1995- 2009, a member of the Executive Board of the Clean Development Mechanism, and a Vice President of the UNFCCC Bureau.
Christiana initiated her life of public service as Minister Counselor at the Embassy of Costa Rica in Bonn, Germany in 1982. Moving to the USA, Christiana was Director of Renewable Energy in the Americas (REIA) and in 1995 founded the non-profit Center for Sustainable Development of the Americas (CSDA) which she directed for eight years. Christiana designed and helped to establish national climate change programs in Guatemala, Panama, Colombia, Argentina, Ecuador, Honduras, El Salvador and the Dominican Republic, becoming a prime promoter of Latin America's active participation in the Climate Change Convention. Christiana served as high level advisor to both governments and private companies. Christiana has a Masters Degree in Anthropology from the London School of Economics, and a certificate in Organizational Development from Georgetown University. She speaks Spanish, English and German.
Christiana Figueres was born in San José, Costa Rica. Her father, José Figueres Ferrer, was President of Costa Rica three times. José Figueres Ferrer was the leader of the 1948 Revolution and is considered the founder of modern democracy in Costa Rica. He abolished the army in 1948 and established a broad system of checks and balances that are at the root of Costa Rica’s stable development to this day. He was responsible for enabled women and illiterates to vote, nationalised banks, outlawed the Communist Party, guaranteed public education for all, gave citizenship to black immigrants' children, established civil service to eliminate the spoils system in government.
Christiana’s mother, Karen Olsen Beck, served as Costa Rican Ambassador to Israel in 1982 and was elected to the Legislative Assembly for the 1990–1994 period. The couple had four children. Christiana’s older brother José Figueres Olsen, was also President of Costa Rica (1994–1998), and is credited with having initiated the country onto a path of sustainable development which continues to this day.
Source: Climate One, Global Meltdown: Christiana Figueres
Music includes Pink - Dear Mr. President, Peter Yarrow - Have You Been to Jail for Justice, What Have You Done, In The Dark, Playing for Change - A Music Revolution, Brian Wilson - Gone Gone Gone, Matisyahu - One Day (New Album Version), Capitol Steps - Shoe Bomb, Network(Movie) - Death of Democracy, Judith - Fools rule the world, Janis Joplin - Mercedes Benz, Graham Nash - Chicago, Michael Jackson - Man In The Mirror, Peacesong - Sudden Sound, Stevie Wonder - We Can Work It Out, John Williams - Star Wars Battle Theme
Climate One, Global Meltdown: Christiana Figueres